Fly Fishing for Bay State Stripers

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There's a good reason why the popularity of saltwater fly fishing has outpaced all other categories of sportfishing for several years running: striped bass.

These fish are found all along the East Coast, have voracious appetites, grow to more than 50 pounds, and fight like champions. Combine this with a willingness to take a fly and it all adds up to the finest fly-fishing quarry in the sea.

Striped bass (or as they are more commonly known, "stripers") can be found in remarkable numbers along the Massachusetts coast from New Bedford to Newburyport. If you find yourself on the beach when stripers are around, prepare yourself for some of the best fishing on the East Coast.

Starting in mid-April, stripers arrive along the coast of the Bay State from their winter home near the Chesapeake Bay. These early arrivals are a bit on the small side, weighing about five pounds, and are nicknamed "schoolies."

The bigger stripers prefer 54-degree water temperatures, and arrive in force by June. They begin to fill their hungry bellies with schools of herring, sand eels, cinder worms, and (fortunately for us anglers) artificial flies.

That's when the real fun begins.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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